History of the M Series

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History of the M Series

In 1972 the BMW Motorsport division was announced. Known as the M division, this new department was dedicated to creating racetrack-ready cars for both professional drivers and everyday driving enthusiasts. The vehicle that started it all was the BMW M1, and since then, the brand has gone on to release a lineup of stunning performance-oriented models under the division’s nameplate. Read on to learn more about the BMW M models!

The M division was started by BMW in the Spring of 1972, but their first model would not be released for another few years. Arriving at the Paris Motor Show in 1978, the BMW M1 debuted to widespread acclaim. It was designed by Paul Bracq and received further design touches from the iconic Giorgetto Giugiaro. Only 456 of these mid-engine coupe models were originally built, and they featured a six-cylinder engine. The original M1 was designed for the race track, making it not as versatile for the average driver. To appeal to a wider range of driving enthusiasts, BMW released its M5, which catered to a wider range of drivers without sacrificing power and overall driving excitement. This M535i model was released in 1979, and it served as a high-performance variation of the brand’s incredibly popular 5 Series model. Additions to this model included a close-ratio transmission, a limited-slip differential, Recaro seats, and larger brakes.

In the 1980s, BMW expanded its M lineup by debuting their first 6 Series variant, which was the M635CSi. This amazing option featured a 3.5-liter six-cylinder engine that could produce 286 horsepower. It was joined in 1984 by the second-generation BMW M5 E28. New additions to this vehicle maximized luxury and power and delivered a higher horsepower than had ever been seen in the family sedan segment, coming in at 286 horsepower. In 1986, BMW released what went on to be one of their most iconic models; the first-generation M3. Offering the perfect combination of powerful performance and luxurious driver-oriented interior, the M3 earned worldwide acclaim and is considered the most successful touring car of all time. Created in 1972 with the intention of engineering specially enhanced models that complement the brand’s already powerful lineup, the M division quickly grew from its original 35 employees to 400 employees at the end of the 1980s.

After such incredible success in the 1970s and 1980s, BMW worked hard to offer even more innovation for the 1990s. Though it was never officially labeled an M car, the 1990s saw the introduction of the influential BMW 8 Series CSi E31. This model was equipped with a spectacular V12 engine, and it later inspired an M8 prototype that delivered an awe-inspiring 550 horsepower. In 1997, BMW would release its Z3 E36/37 M Roadster/Coupe.

Over twenty years after the debut of the first-generation M3, BMW released the E92 M3 Coupe in 2007. This vehicle received the traditional normally aspirated engine, yet innovates with twice the number of cylinders, and at least double the power found in the original model. BMW is proud to offer M or performance-oriented variants of almost their entire lineup, and in 2013 BMW celebrated its iconic M division by releasing new M3 and M4 models.

If you would like to learn more about the legendary BMW Motorsport lineup contact us today at BMW of Oyster Bay!



BMW of Oyster Bay

145 Pine Hollow Rd
Oyster Bay, NY 11771

Sales: 516-586-0961
Service: 516-586-0984
Parts: 516-586-0919

Sales Hours:
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  • Saturday9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • SundayClosed
Service Hours:
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  • Saturday8:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • SundayClosed
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145 Pine Hollow Rd • Oyster Bay, NY 11771

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Today's Hours:

Open Today! Sales: 9am-6pm

Open Today! Service: 7am-6pm

Open Today! Parts: 7am-6pm

BMW of Oyster Bay 40.860625, -73.534895.